THE PETITION calling for Hastings and Bexhill to be shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2017 has been signed by more than 1,150 people in the space of two weeks.
The number of signatures topped the target of 1066 on Tuesday (April 23), and while the majority of supporters come from the local area, some are from as far afield as Istanbul, Bologna, and Bangkok.
The online petition was set up by artist and local resident Rachel Lever, with support of Hastings Borough Council, as proof of the huge proportion of the community that is supportive of culture and the arts.
She said: “It shows there’s more to Hastings than 1066. It was a real thrill to see it go into four figures. I think it’s turned into a real community petition.
“It does seem to me that however much you list Hastings’ culture or try to sum it up, there’s always more you can add. Any time I go away on holiday I feel I’m missing out.”
Backing the bid, award-winning jazz musician Liane Carroll described “the ‘melting pot’ of artists, poets, actors, musicians, authors, sculptors, DJs, designers...On any night of the week, you can go and hear live music, usually for free.”
Artist Lorna Crabbe commented: “Wherever you turn there are people immersed in creative projects in their beach huts, studios, gardens, attics and cellars. There’s a generosity of spirit, a welcoming community to both locals and visitors alike.”
Another Hastings resident Lesley Gould wrote: “We moved from London 2.5 years ago and we do far more culturally here than we ever did there. Love this place and it’s many innovative people who give so freely of their time to create and support all the many events we’re privileged to have year round.”
Photographer Andrew Moran wrote: “Hastings and St Leonards are festival towns with a wealth of creative resources in the people, their attributes and their willingness to participate; sharing experiences.” There is still time to add your support to the bid visit chn.ge/108PX82.